Why you shouldn't stress about the chocolate – or work – this Easter

Canberrans have been urged to switch off and enjoy the Easter break – and not agonise over eating chocolate.

Clinical psychologist at the University of Canberra Dr Vivienne Lewis said long weekends such as the four-day Easter break were a good opportunity to recharge.

Don't stress out about eating chocolate this Easter.
Don't stress out about eating chocolate this Easter. Photo: Andy Zakeli

"Turning the phone off the whole time sounds like a good idea but might be a bit unrealistic," she said.

"If you can, turn off from some technology, particularly email, and be in the moment with your friends and relatives and really enjoy the break.

"Otherwise, you go back to work on Tuesday feeling like you've had no break and just as stressed as when you left on Thursday."

Dr Lewis said eating chocolate at Easter shouldn't cause too much of an issue but urged people not to continue over-indulging beyond the break.


"Just try to take it easy and do the things you enjoy. Maybe do a little bit of exercise and catch up on some sleep," she said.

Associate professor of nutritional science at the University of Canberra Dr Duane Mellor has studied the health effects of certain types of chocolate, including for his PhD, and found there were definitely benefits to eating it.

Well, as long as it's the more bitter dark chocolate variety, which had more of the critical flavonoid, which had antioxidant properties.

Dr Mellor's studies found dark chocolate could made blood vessels "more bouncy" and less susceptible to stress, reducing the risk of heart disease.

It could also increase levels of good cholesterol.

He said 15g to 25g of dark, bitter chocolate three times a week was fine.

"We feel guilty about eating chocolate because most of the time we eat too much of it," he said.

"We've got to learn to eat a little of it regularly and enjoy the experience of eating it."